DORCHESTER chairman Peter Grassby has expressed the club’s pride in the second XV players involved in last weekend’s defeat to Dorset Dockers.
The county town club became part of British rugby history when they were on the wrong end of a record 212-0 scoreline in their Dorset & Wilts Two South league game against the Ver-wood-based side.
But, in an open letter posted on the club’s official website, the county town chairman says the squad warrants “respect from all the rugby community for their never-say-die attitude”, adding that they were “great ambassadors for the club” on the day.
“I would like to express the club’s pride in each and every player who represented the Dorchester Second team for their match against Dorset Dockers last weekend,” the letter reads.
“I personally did not see the game but, having spoken to a parent and spectator, I understand that all players played with 110 per cent heart and effort and refused to give up, even with the opportunity to finish the game earlier.
“They deserve the respect from all the rugby community for their never-say-die attitude and were great ambassadors for the club and wider sport of rugby before, during and after the game.
“I would like to congratulate Dorset Dockers on their success this season and, in particular, the hospitality they showed our players last weekend after the match.
“In the meantime, Dorchester RFC will continue to produce players from our highly-successful Junior & Youth Section and hope we can encourage them to play senior rugby, which ultimately will enable our first and second teams to remain competitive in the future.”
Grassby also highlights the overall context that the match was played in, with Dorchester unable to field a full strength team due to injuries and unavailability and Dockers, who have won all their games this season, able to name 15 replacements.
Dockers, a side new to the league this season, have a number of players with experience of higher-tier rugby under their belts – their dominance has been so great in Dorset & Wilts Two South that some clubs have opted to forfeit their fixtures against them.
Grassby admits it “would have been easy” for Dorchester to do the same, while he also questions the decision by the rugby authorities not to put Dockers into a higher division.
He adds: “I understand that on occasions this season other clubs in this league have decided to withdraw from this same fix-ture.
“This does call into question the rugby authorities’ decision for not entering Dorset Dockers into a higher league, particularly with rumours circulating among the rugby community well before the start of the season as to how strong their squad was likely to be.”
Dorchester Seconds still sit fifth in the league table, are through to the final of the Dorset & Wilts Seconds XV Shield and continue to develop players for the club’s first XV.
No Dorchester teams are in action tomorrow, though Weymouth Seconds host North Dorset Thirds in Two South and Bridport entertain Wimborne Seconds in One South (both 3pm).